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A Political Economy of Modernism
Literature, Post-Classical Economics, and the Lower Middle-Class


  • Date Published: October 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108472951

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About the Authors
  • In A Political Economy of Modernism, Ronald Schleifer examines the political economy of what he calls 'the culture of modernism' by focusing on literature and the arts; intellectual disciplines of post-classical economics; and institutional structures of corporate capitalism and the lower middle-class. In its wide ranging study focused on modernist writers (Dreiser, Hardy, Joyce, Stevens, Woolf, Wells, Wharton, Yeats), modernist artists (Cézanne, Picasso, Stravinsky, Schoenberg), economists (Jevons, Marshall, Veblen), and philosophers (Benjamin, Jakobson, Russell), this book presents an institutional history of cultural modernism in relation to the intellectual history of Enlightenment ethos and the social history of the second Industrial Revolution. It articulates a new method of analysis of the early twentieth century - configuration and modeling - that reveals close connections among its arts, understandings, and social organizations.

    • Offers analyses of political economy and post-classical economics
    • Provides a sustained analysis of corporate capitalism in the time of cultural modernism
    • Proposes the method of 'configurational' analysis that examines structural 'homologies' (i.e., similarities in structure and differences in function) among social organizations, intellectual analyses, and everyday experience as an aspect of cultural modernism
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108472951
    • length: 350 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 159 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.65kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Methodological prologue: the constellation of modernism
    Part I. Economics in the Context of Cultural Modernism:
    2. The argument
    3. Modernism and economics: the long history and immediate history of modernism
    Part II. Intangible Assets: Modernist Economics:
    4. The origins of corporate influences on the arts: technological innovations, intangible assets, and the shapes of aesthetic experience
    5. Modernist goods, modernists arts: consumption and commodities in the new twentieth century
    Interlude: from economics to discourse: economic fact, semiotic fact
    Part III. Intangible Liabilities: Class and Value in the Time of Modernism:
    6. The lower middle-class: literature, economics, and the shape of modernism
    7. Political economy and the fictions of finance: the modernism of Dreiser and Wells
    Conclusion: cosmopolitan modernism.

  • Author

    Ronald Schleifer, University of Oklahoma
    Ronald Schleifer is George Lynn Cross Research Professor of English and Adjunct Professor in Medicine at the University of Oklahoma. He has written or edited more than twenty books, including: Modernism and Time (Cambridge, 2000) and Modernism and Popular Music (Cambridge, 2011). His most recent books are Pain and Suffering (2014; translated into Chinese, 2017); The Chief Concern of Medicine: The Integration of the Medical Humanities and Narrative Knowledge into Medical Practices (co-authored with Dr Jerry Vannatta, 2013). He is co-editor of Contemporary Literary Criticism (1998) and is the former editor of Genre.

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